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See more synonyms for merry-go-round on Thesaurus.com
  1. Also called carousel, carrousel. (in amusement parks, carnivals, etc.) a revolving, circular platform with wooden horses or other animals, benches, etc., on which people may sit or ride, usually to the accompaniment of mechanical or recorded music.
  2. a rapid whirl or a busy round, as of social life or business affairs.
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Origin of merry-go-round

First recorded in 1720–30
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for merry-go-round

binge, orgy, rampage, celebration, ferment, tumult, flurry, clatter, whirlwind, fun, humor, satire, farce, sitcom, pleasure, pastime, amusement, distraction, caper, splurge

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Contemporary Examples of merry-go-round

Historical Examples of merry-go-round

British Dictionary definitions for merry-go-round


  1. another name for roundabout (def. 1)
  2. a whirl of activity or eventsthe merry-go-round of the fashion world
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for merry-go-round


1729, from merry (adj.) + go (v.) + round. Figurative use by 1838. Merry-totter (mid-15c.) was a Middle English name for a swing or see-saw. Also cf. merry-go-down "strong ale" (c.1500); merry-go-sorry "a mix of joy and sorrow" (1590s).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper